Viral This Week: August 5 – August 11, 2019

The Internet is a fast-moving place, and in a week that was dominated by a largely tragic news cycle even amidst all that shuffle, a little levity can make all the difference. That’s what the viral post of someone ambiguously referred to as Green Shirt Guy has given everyone this week, and his contagious laughter has everyone feeling a little lighter. 

It’s not just a jovial display from this green-clad citizen that the Internet went nuts for this week—there’s tons of buzz surrounding a philanthropic effort to help teachers as the school year approaches, and hearts melted all over the world in response to a painfully cute video of a Golden Retriever. 

Laughter Is The Best Medicine

Green Shirt Guy, later identified as Alex Kack (though the Internet isn’t really interested in his actual name for the most part) was attending a Tucson city council meeting on August 6 when suddenly in the middle of it all, two protestors stood up, recording with their phones and holding posters to oppose a Sanctuary City measure that will appear on Tucson’s November ballot. 

The entire ordeal was caught on video by a local journalist, and in the bottom right corner of the screen, Green Shirt Guy can be seen laughing almost hysterically as the two stand and yell at the crowd. Though he did state that he disagreed with the message of the two protestors, he said that’s not why he was laughing.

Rather, he was caught off guard by the absurdity of it all, and felt so struck by the fact that the loudest voices on both sides of the political spectrum today are shouting some pretty ridiculous stuff that he just had to laugh. Kack said he thought most Americans could probably relate to the impulse of laughter as a coping mechanism with the current climate, which is why he figured the video was resonating with so many people. 

Green Shirt Guy wasn’t the only attendee spotted in the video that gained some Internet clout. In the background, some Twitter users also noticed an elderly man holding a banjo, just adding another layer of oddness to this particular city council meeting. The same journalist who had posted the video of Green Shirt Guy later posted one of the man with the banjo to clear up any confusion. 

Riotous Reaction

The viral video of Green Shirt Guy laughing had soared to 5 million views within less than 24 hours of first being posted, and plenty of digital natives took to their accounts to comment on the surprisingly good-spirited citizen. 

Though many have used the video as a vehicle for their own political messages, others recognize Kack’s own comments about feeling frustrated with the entire system. Twitter users used #GreenShirtGuy with captions like “#GreenShirtGuy is my spirit animal” and “The universe knew we needed to heal and unite so it gave us #GreenShirtGuy.” 

As for Green Shirt Guy himself, his reaction to going viral was simply a tweet that said he supposed he’d have to get more active on Twitter now. Having already spent several days in super stardom, and with more posts coming in every second, it appears that Green Shirt Guy did unite the Internet in some small measure, offering a respite from divisiveness so everyone can just take a moment to laugh. 

Other Viral Topics August 5 – August 11

  • Investing in Education

It’s hardly a secret that most teachers dip into their own pockets to buy all of the school supplies they need for their classrooms. Often these aren’t items deemed “necessary” by school districts, but ones that enhance the educational experience for students. 

A viral social media trend called “Clear The Lists” aims to offset the costs felt by teachers who want to provide their students with the best possible environment. It works like this: teachers create an Amazon wishlist of up to $300, and then parents, community members, or total strangers can go in and purchase items off of that list, or the list in its entirety. 

Teachers all over the country are feeling the love this week as the trend spreads, allowing them to get even more excited about the school year ahead since they didn’t have to allot hundreds of dollars out of their own budgets to meet these needs.

This is exactly the kind of feel-good trend that might restore your faith in people, or at least in their ability to do something useful with social media every once in a while. 

  • Perplexed pup just can’t figure out a hair clip

Everyone loves a good pet video, and one of a Golden Retriever named Tucker Budzyn, posted by his owner Courtney, got all sorts of attention this week. In the video, Courtney is holding a hair clip in front of Tucker’s face, and he simply doesn’t know what to think. 

She opens the clip, and Tucker rears his head back as if he thinks he might get bitten. Still, he comes back in to mouth at the mysterious object, apparently having had enough of being bullied by the toothy mystery. 

The video, which also has a series of comedic captions over the top written by Courtney, received more than 2 million views within the week. Tucker has his very own Instagram account, which has more than 1.5 million followers, many of whom commented on the video thanking Tucker for making their day, or brightening it at least. 

Your Take on The Week

What was your favorite viral trend this week? Are you laughing right along with Green Shirt Guy, or would you ever consider purchasing school supplies for a teacher in need? Or maybe you’re more of a traditionalist, and like the Internet exclusively for cute pet videos like Tucker’s?